Self-Appreciation Saturdays

SAS: Your Life Has Just Begun. (6/30/18)

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Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH.

Before we get into this post, can you believe we are halfway through the year already? I mean technically, July 2nd is the 182nd day out of 365, which is literally half of the year, but you know what I’m getting at. How many of us can say they felt like they did live six months of 2018 already and felt like it’s been six months? I don’t know about you, but it feels like it was just yesterday that I was in Pennsylvania with my family ringing in the new year. It feels like it was just yesterday that my partner and I spent a weekend in Upstate New York for my 24th Birthday. It feels like it was just yesterday I was starting my last semester as a student, beginning to rewrite my entire thesis, and juggle reading poems and books for my two courses. It doesn’t feel like it’s already been 6 months of 2018.

And that’s been a reality for me ever since I turned 18 in 2012; the years have been passing by like it’s been nobody’s business, and when you take time to actually think about it, you sit there in awe and wonder how did you manage to make it this far into life? I honestly thought I wouldn’t make it to see past 18, yet here I am, a 24-year-old woman with two degrees and a whole life ahead of me.

But with time going by so fast, sometimes we take it for granted. Sometimes, we don’t see the consequences of having time move so fast.

We don’t realize that since we’re getting older, the people around us are too. Our friends who used to share their building blocks in Kindergarten are now proud parents of a Kindergartener. Our siblings who we once shared a room with are now living in their own apartments and houses. The parents who were lively and energetic are now older and prefer to relax on their days off. The family members who you use to see every other week are now only available for two holidays a year. And the grandparents aren’t grandparents anymore.

I’m writing this with a lot in my heart, especially since today would be my childhood dog’s birthday. His birthday, in particular, reminds me of all the beings in my life who passed away thus far. In the last four years, I lost two family members and a childhood pet and the process still isn’t completely over. I think back to when they were here and I remember how young I was. I still remember the day my family and I got Pal at the Animal Rescue in Manhattan 17 years ago. When you realize just how much time has passed, you wonder what will happen in the future. Most of the time, it is extremely hard for me to even think what life would be like for me in 10 years. It’s extremely hard for me to even think about what life would be like in 2020.

I apologize for this “Self-Appreciation Saturday” being such a downer, but I know there are people my age, younger and older than me, who feel this way. They may not go into such detail as I do, but adjusting to a life you’re not familiar with after being comfortable all these years is terrifying and difficult.

But, it isn’t impossible.

I guess what I’m trying to say in this post (and here’s where the “self-appreciation” in “Self-Appreciation Saturday” comes in), is that for many of us, our lives have just begun. Whether or not you’re still at home, a career or job or degree, or whether or not you’re about to start a new family with kids of your own, our chapter in adulthood is beginning and we need to embrace it and accept it for what it is. Yeah, I know how scary it is to picture a life without the people you’ve grown to love and trust since the moment you were born, but adulthood comes with that acceptance that every day with those people (or pets) is valuable. This chapter in our lives is all determined by us and us only; we are adults in the real world making real-world decisions; we are a new generation of adults who now get to live life the way we’d like to. 

I know I sound ridiculous and I swear I’m not writing this during witching hours, but thinking and feeling this way is such a huge problem within our generation because we’re just so afraid of change within ourselves nowadays. It seems like with everything else in our lives we are more than ready to change something, but let it be our age and how we live life and we all shut down, even if I’m just speaking for myself at this point.

At the end of the day, you and I shouldn’t fear the future. Yeah, the unknown is scary and creepy, but the unknown could be full of opportunities and blessings in which we could miss out if we fear change too much.

Your chapter of life has just begun; write it the way you’d want it to be.

 

-Liz. (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

Self-Appreciation Saturday. (5/13/17)

It’s been a rough couple of weeks due to the stress and anxiety of the semester coming to an end and I’ve been trying my best to keep my mind happy. In an attempt to be okay and calm, I came up with a list of things to do when you’re feeling down or anxious about life:

  1. Try to wake up early. Sleeping too late makes you feel like you wasted a good day. Make sure to wake up in the morning and get things done!
  2. Go for a walk. Put on your walking shoes and take a nice walk around your neighborhood. You never know where your feet might take you and see what new things you discover.
  3. Seek change if necessary. Maybe there’s something you want to need to change in order to start anew. Cut your hair, revamp your wardrobe, pick up a new hobby!
  4. No drinking or smoking for awhile. I realized during my time of anxiety, I was beginning to enjoy handling it with drinking and the occasional smoking and after awhile, I realized this wasn’t something I wanted to keep doing. Saying no to any substances, whether in a safe environment or a party setting, helps you gain back some control you weren’t having.
  5. Keep a journal. Keeping track of the things you’re feeling or going through on a day-to-day basis helps you not keep those things bottled up for an extended period of time.
  6. Eat/drink healthier foods. Personally, I feel better whenever I’m eating something good for me like fruits and vegetables and definitely when I’m drinking smoothies during a warm day. Knowing that I’m putting good things into my body helps me think of positive things.
  7. Have a support system. Having people in your circle who genuinely care about your well-being makes the bad feelings go away because sometimes, all you need to do is have someone who matters listen to you. Sometimes in cases with anxiety, people who have it feel worried that when expressing their anxiety to other people feel as if they are annoying them. Just having one or two people sit down with you to talk about it will help you out.
  8. Never leave school work to the last minute. With two 15-page papers being in the process of being finalized and handed in, it’s not ideal to leave them for the last minute. Make time for yourself to finish all your work so that you can finally start your little break away from school.
  9. Laugh often. Laughter is truly the best medicine; don’t deprive yourself of it.
  10. Do what makes you happy. Read a book, draw, exercise, sing, write; whatever puts your spirit in a good place, do it.
  11. Stop waiting for life to happen. Make sure you are doing something every single day that it’s helping you move forward so that the “waiting” doesn’t feel like waiting at all.
  12. Be kind to yourself. Remember, you are not perfect, no matter how badly your mind wants you to be. You are only human, and humans are definitely not capable of perfection, so stop trying to explain to yourself why you feel a certain way or why you’re behaving out. Accept that you are going through a rough time, but never let it take over your life.

if they can do it, you can do it. remember that. focus, determination, passion. invincible.:

-Liz (:

Topic Tuesdays: Advice

What Grad School Taught Me.

I’m the first one within my immediate friends’ group and family to be attending grad school. Ultimately, I didn’t plan on going to grad school for my Master’s because I thought four years of college were enough to last me for a lifetime. I knew I wanted to expand my studies in Cinema because I wanted to become a scriptwriter for awhile, and I needed more studies in film and television if I wanted to pursue that as a career. I applied in Fall 2015 to attend a film school in Fall 2016. I got rejected due to limited spots within the program, and by that point, I felt extremely discouraged and told myself that grad school was officially out of the picture.

Until CSI granted me the opportunity to continue my studies in their MA program for English. I felt blessed to have this handed to me without having a backup plan after the film school rejected me, so I decided to stay at my college and study English (again) as a grad student.

I am currently wrapping up my first official year of grad school. I will be graduating this time next year.

Boy how time flies.

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If you were to ask “22-year-old college senior Liz” what grad school would be like, I would tell you that it was going to be tedious, but nothing that I can’t handle. I still remember my last famous words being “I did 5 classes for two semesters straight; how hard could two classes be?”

Dear “22-year-old college senior Liz”, you played yourself.

Prior to attending grad school, I planned to do a lot of things with the spare time I thought I was going to have. I wanted to be more involved with my school’s drama club, I wanted to write a lot more scripts and potentially make them into short films or scenes, and I definitely wanted to finally get a job. After realizing that I had a project already due the first day of grad school, I realized just how intense grad school was going to be.

Grad school is definitely a different type of commitment you make than regular college. Nowadays, it’s ideal to go to college after high-school; most careers and jobs require a Bachelor’s degree. Going to grad school and getting your Master’s isn’t as common, hence why it’s more a commitment. The reality of it all is that you don’t have to go to grad school; you could be perfectly fine with life with just your Bachelor’s degree. So when you decide to pursue grad school and it becomes too much to handle, the question of “do I really need to do this?” definitely comes up. I know it did for me.

Grad school, especially studying English, requires a lot of research. You’re writing 20-page final papers, you’re putting on presentations for 4 different projects, and your vacation days and breaks that you have are strictly for doing work.

Grad school has definitely taught me a lot about my work ethic and how to properly handle my time management. My undergrad years I did my work very last minute, especially in classes that I really didn’t like. I went through many semesters not reading any of the books for my literature course and still managed to pass all of them with A’s and such. Grad school… a completely different ball game. The readings are longer, dense, and require a lot more of your time in order to engage in class discussions and most of all, you’ve made it this far. People don’t understand that at when in a grad-level class, everyone made it just as far as you. People are a lot more intellectual, and the people who may appear like they don’t do much in class are the same people who are honestly just low-key geniuses.

The truth of it all is that you have to physically prepare yourself for grad school and even then you’re not fully ready. People assume that grad school is just going to be a little bit harder than undergrad (or even easier) when really, two classes feel like two full-time jobs. Grading is different, attendance is different, the work is different, and yes – even the stress is different.

In my bad habits turned to good ones’ post, I explain how I had to revamp my time management skills by pretty much using my calendar to write down even the days that I have to do work. Grad school work is nothing like undergrad; YOU CANNOT LEAVE IT FOR THE LAST MINUTE. It’s impossible, to say the least.

Last but certainly not least, you have to change your attitude towards school if you want to pass grad-level classes. Specifically, at my school, I have to keep at least a 3.0 GPA (in other words, a B) in order to graduate. My GPA right now is a 3.3, which honestly can change with just a simple bad grade in one course. The pressure that comes with exceeding in grad school literally wears you out, and if you don’t have tough skin to handle the ups and downs of grad school, then grad school isn’t the place for you.

It’s the honest truth.

Of course, grad school isn’t just this horrible place of negativity and anxiety. If anything, grad school has made me into a better writer and has been teaching me the reality of what it takes to be respected in academia. In the near future, I’ll be writing a post about the writing/rhetoric composition side of writing I learn in grad school that I never knew even existed; but that’s beside the point. As a grad student, you are granted this freedom that you don’t get as an undergrad. In grad school, you are allowed to have your own ideas and explore all these different things without having your professors tell you you’re off-topic or some shit (of course, some professors are just naturally one-sided). As a grad student, there is this certain respect you get from your peers that you don’t necessarily get from undergrad because the classes are just overly crowded on the undergrad level. You also get to connect with professors better when you’re on the grad-level (honestly, Professor Carlo has been such an inspiration for me while on this grad school journey, so thank you for making me a better writer).

All in all, grad school is a risk that you should take if you believe that you can do it. It’s okay if you know deep down inside you can’t handle it; it’s not for everyone. I didn’t know that it was essentially for me, and I’m still trying to cope with the new surroundings and identity being a grad student. Yes, at times I feel like the stress and anxiety do take over me, but personally, I feel like grad school has made me grow into myself and to perfect my craft as a writer.

So, if you’re thinking about grad school, I say go for it. There’s nothing wrong furthering your education. If you’re not thinking about grad school, don’t sweat it. Don’t do it because you have to, do it because you want to.

-Liz (:

Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

Being a “White-Hispanic” in Today’s Society.

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My skin is white, but half my blood is Latina.

The lack of knowing and speaking the language makes me “less” of a Latina. The lack of complete knowledge and embrace of my culture makes me “less” of a Latina. My skin, my voice, my style, makes me “less” of a Latina.

Society sometimes forgets that I am half Puerto Rican because I am not “Latina” enough, and because of that, people tend to classify me as being the part of the group of white people who are internally racist and arrogant without even knowing it because of their whiteness. You know, those “reverse racism exists, all lives matter, I don’t see color, I see humans” type of whiteness?

That part of whiteness is whiteness that I even I say white people are stupid as hell.

I will admit that because I am half white, I do have “white privilege” embedded in me. I’ve had friends in the past, of different ethnicity and race, in light of the Trayvon Martin case, tell me they feel safer around me because “they wouldn’t be suspicious and shoot down and kill a white girl.”

It saddens me to think that the beautifully diverse people I call my friends are targets in today’s society, but people will assume I don’t think like that because to the outside world, I am just “white.”

Continue reading “Being a “White-Hispanic” in Today’s Society.”

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

Self-Appreciation Saturday. (2/25/17)

Hi guys, welcome back to TNTH.

I just wanted to thank you guys for all of the support and love you’ve sent my way through this difficult time. I’ve had my week to spend with my family and had time to do through the many phases this difficult time brings, but I am now inspired and motivated more than ever to continue to move forward with TNTH.

Many of you guys had reached out to me personally and told me that the blog was a very honest representation of myself, and that’s all I really wanted my blog to be. I’m not ashamed or afraid to show a real representation of myself because I have nothing to hide. I am an actual functioning human being with actual feelings and emotions asides being a positive, bubbly person.

With that being said, here’s this week’s Self-Appreciation Saturday.

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Continue reading “Self-Appreciation Saturday. (2/25/17)”